tv Face the Nation CBS July 21, 2013 8:30am-9:31am PDT
>> today on "face the nation," credit goes broke, and washington is still broken. we'll talk to house speaker john boehner and michigan governor rick snyder. with government gridlock worse than ever, the house speaker told us he'll redouble effort to repeal the president's health care plan, but as if to underline just how far apart the two sides are on everything, said this when i asked-- what do you think the president's agenda is for the second term? >> i have no idea. >> in detroit, the worst that had been feared happened. the city that had once within the pride of american industrial power went bankrupt. $18 billion in debt. we'll talk to michigan governor rick snyder about the fallout for municipal pensioners, bond
holders, and businesses. and the calls for a national conversation on race. >> trayvon martin could have been me. >> we'll talk about that and the other news with our panel, susan page of "usa today." pbs correspondent gwen ifill. the "wall street journal's" gerald seib. "time" magazine's michael scherer. david ignatius of the "washington post." and our own john dickerson. this is fooks. captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news in washington, "face the nation" with bob schieffer. >> and good morning, again. well, i went to the capitol to talk to house speaker john boehner on the week that the house had voted for the 39th time to quill or delay the president's health care plan. so with this shaping up as the least productive legislation session in history, i began by asking speaker boehner wasn't it
time to get on to something else? absolute not, he told me. republican have only dwan to fight this plan and won't be satisfied until they kill it. >> the program ready. this is not ready for prime time. this is not good for the country, and we're going to stay at it. >> so we can expect more of this. >> absolutely. you're going to see a lot more of it, and you're going to see bipartisan votes coming out of the house to begin to derail this thing. >> knowing full well this is going nowhere. >> well, bob,un, i've been around this town fair little while, like you have-- not quite as long-- but around here, never, ever, ever is not usually a good prescription. the senators know, the democrat senators know that this law's not workable. they know it's not ready. it was max baucus, senate chairman, democrat chairman of the finance committee who said that this was a train wreck. they know it's a train wreck, so
i wouldn't be so quick to suggest that they're never anything to take this up. i would urge senator harry reid, the majority leader, put these two bills on the floor of the senate delay the employer mandate and to delay the individual mandate, and let's see what happens. >> all right, let's talk about the other big issue, and that is immigration. i just want to cut right to the chase here. will you allow any immigration bill to come to the house floor for a vote if it is includes some kind of path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants that are in this country now? >> bob, we have a broken immigration system. the ill-- the legal immigration system is broken. we have the problem with 11 million people who are here without documents. 40% of whom, by the way, came here as legal immigrants. so we've got a very big problem. and-- what i've committed is, one, the house does not like the
senate bill. you know, it's one big massive bill that in my opinion doesn't have enough serious triggers to protect our borders. >> but would you allow-- getting back to the question i asked-- >> hold on. >> would you allow a bill on the floor that provides a path to citizenship? citizenship? for 11 million people. >> bob what, we're going to do in the house, is we're dealing with this in a commonsense, step-by-step approach. we want to deal with this in chunks, chunks the members can deal with and grapple with and frankly chunks the american people can get their arounds around-- >> i can say. >> 1300-page bill that no one has read. >> are you not going answer that question? >> it's not about me-- >> no-- >> this is about allowing the house to work its will. >> would you allow that to happen? >> this is about bringing these bills out near a commonsense way. and i'm not going to predict what's going to be on the floor and what isn't going to be on the floor. that's what you're asking me to do. i can't do that, and i don't
want to do that. my job? this process is to facilitate a discussion, and facilitate a process so the american people can see what we're could go and so the members understand that we're dealing with this in a deliberative way. >> do you, mr. speaker, yourself, personally, favor a bill that has a path to citizenship for those 11 million? >> bob, people have been trying to get me to do this since the day after after the election. >> well, you're the leader of the republicans. >> the day after the election i made clear that i thought it was time for our government to deal with this serious problem of immigration. >> you actually said you were for a comprehensive bill. >> and i believe that we have too deal with it. we have to deal with it in an honest way. it's not about me. it's not about what i want. what i'm-- what i've committed to, when i became speaker was to a more open and fair process. and as difficult as this issue is, me taking a hard position for or against some of these issues will make it harder for us to get a bill. >> let me just ask you this,
then-- can your party survive without pass something kind of immigration reform that includes a path to systemship? senator lindsey graham, who is about as conservative as you get-- >> one of my dear friend. >> "without immigration reform your party? a demographic death spiral. >> this isn't about politics and it's not about our party. this is about doing the right thing for our country. we're a nation of immigrants. immigrations thaimmigrations thd our country. we have a broken system. my job is to work with the house members on both sides of the aisle, facilitate a conversation and facilitate a process where we can deal with this honestly and openly. >> but you're not going to say what you're for or what you're against, you're just-- >> if i come out and say i'm for this and i'm for that, all i'm doing is making my job harder. my job is to-- as the leader of the house, is to facilitate this conversation, this process, that involves members on both sides of the aisle, involves the
american people, and when they can see us moving in a deliberative, step-by-step commonsense way. >> that is kind of an interesting take on leadership, though. in other words, you don't see yourself as someone who has an agenda. you're there to just sort of manage whatever your people want to do? is that-- i'm not sure i understand what you see as your role as the leader. >> the house should be allowed to work its will. you know, i've watched a number of speakers during my tenure here in congress. and, you know, i can talk about what happened just before i became speaker. all the bills were written in the speaker's office. those bills turned-- all turned out to be very unpopular, whether it was the stimulus bill, the dodd-frank bill, obamacare, and shoved through the floor of the house, 430 members, democrats and republicans, locked out of the process. this is not the way the house is intended to work. >> let me ask you this, mr. speaker. do you-- have you come to this
approach because you can't control your caucus? >> no. bob, i talked about this the day i was sworn in as speaker, that i considered my job was to open up the process, let members participate. yeah, i've got certain things that i'd like to see accomplished. but this is not going to be about me. i said it the opening day. and it's never going to be about me. it's what's in the best interest of the country. if we're language to the american people and we're following their will our house will be fine. >> is it in the best interest of the country to keep the government in total gridlock? because that's where we are right now. nothing has happened. >> we've got a divided country. we've got a divide government. democrats have the white house. they have the senate. american people sent republicans here to the house. we have divided government. our job is to find the common ground. yes, the country is divided, by, my goodness, there is common ground. >> well, i don't see anybody
finding common ground right now. >> it's a little hard find today than it was 10 years ago. >> let me ask you about another leader, that is the president of the united states. what do you think his agenda is for the second term? >> i have no idea. >> do you talk to him? when is the last time you all spoke? >> i talked to him last week, i believe it was. we've had some more regular conversations here over the last couple of months. >> what was that about? >> well, i'd like to keep the conversations between the president and myself between the president and myself. >> but you said back there at the beginning you wanted to find the common ground that's eluded us. do you feel you have found any common ground with the president? >> i think we all recognize that immigration reform has to be dealt with. and while we have a lot of different opinions about how to get there and what to do, i do think it's an issue that has to be dealt with. >> let's talk with the economy. you often ask where are the jobs? but it's clear, it seems to me, that cutting spending
specifically through the sequester, has resulte resultedb loss, both in the private sector and in the government. >> republicans have a plan for job creation. we've been at this now for the last two and a half years. and whether it's making student lones more affordable, stopping unnecessary regulations, trying to get our budget deficit under control-- all of these things would help get our economy moving again. listen, this new normal of slow economic growth, no increase in jobs that are available, wages are being basically frozen. we're squeezing the middle class. and i would argue the president's policies are getting in the way of the economy growing, whether it's obamacare, whether it's all these needless regulations that are coming out of the government. it's getting in the way of people wanting to invest in our economy. i used to be a small businessman. i be how this works.
>> steve laturret recently retired friend of yourself, was madeleine biondolillo "new york "magazine recently what he thought you still enjoyed about your job. and he said, "i can't figure out anything he'd still enjoy. i'd be depressed. i'd be ripping my hair out. i'm surprised he's not bald." what do you enjoy about your job, mr. speaker? >> bob, i came here 23 years ago as a small businessman committed to finding a way for-- to achieve a smaller, less-costly, and more accountable federal government. i think the american people are seeing the i.r.s. scandal, and what the justice department did to the press, what happened in benghazi, and what's going on with obamacare, the american people are looking up at a government that's out of control. it's too big to govern. and so the mission i came here with as a small businessman 23 years ago is still my mission. to fight for a smaller, less-costly, a more accountable
federal government, to empower the private sect toor to be all it can be, to create jobs for our kids and grand kids. that's what drives me every day. and i know people from the outside look in and go, "how can he put up with all this nonsense?" but i don't look at it that way. i stay focused on the mission i came here with, and it's stilt mission i have. >> any way you cut it, and whoever's fault it is, you have preside over what it perhaps the least-productive and certainly one of the least popular congresses in history. how do you feel about that? >> well, bob, we should not be judged on how many new laws we create. we ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal. we've knot more laws than the administration could ever enforce. and so we don't do commemorative bills on the floor. we don't do all that nonsense. we deal with what the american people want us to do. unpopular? yes.
why? we're in a divided government. we're fighting for what we believe in. sometimes, you know, the american people don't like this mess. >> but it's not the case, mr. speaker, of just passing or not passing new laws. you've got the government in gridlock. you're laying off people in the defense department. they're working four days a week. you've got the sequester that is the creation of congress. this is not something that-- >> now, bob, that's wrong. >> hoisted upon washington by-- >> who. >> somebody from mars. >> who insisted on the sequester, the president of the united states? >> i'm talking about washington. >> he insisted on it. understand, bob, the government has spent more than it brought in for 55 of the last 60 years. i made it clear two and a half years when i was about to become speaker we were not going to kick this can down the road again. so the president insisted on the sequester. i said the sequester would be in effect until the president would agree to cut some reforms that will puttous a path to balance the budget over the next 10 years. >> what do you want your legacy
to be? >> he was fair to all. and protected the institution. when you look at my job, there's one person responsible for the institution of the house, and that falls into my lap. it's my number one responsibility. but in addition to that, i actually do believe that opening up the process, allowing committees to do their work, bringing bills through committee in a more fair and open process on the ?roor, will begin to heal this institution. there's partisan scar tissue all over place, but if-- the more i can open it up and allow members to work together, over time that partisan scar tissue will begin to melt and go away. it's a long-term proposition, but i'm committed to it. >> what is the most important thing you think could happen this year if you could just wave a magic wand?
would be your number one priority right now? >> well, that we would do something to fix our fiscal situation. it's the biggest threat to the future of our country. and we can't cut our way to prosperity, nor can we just grow our way out of the problem. we need to do both. we need tax reform where we bring down the rates, get rid of the garbage in the tax code, make it fairer for more americans and it will help with us real economic growth. but in addition to that, we've got to fix our entitlement problem. these problems are important to tens of millions of americans but they're not going to be there if we don't get serious about fixing these programs so that our kids and grand kids aren't given 60% or 70% of their check to the federal government to pay for our benefits. >> last question, but do you have any hope that any of those things could be accomplish bide the end of this year? >> hope, hope spring eternal. i'm an optimist. i wouldn't be sitting here if i wasn't. >> mr. speaker. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> and we'll be back in a minute to talk with michigan's governor
rick snyder. the pursuit of a better tomorrow is something we all share. but who can help you find your own path? who can build you a plan, not just a pie chart? who can help keep your investments on course, whatever lies ahead? that someone is a morgan stanley financial advisor. and we're ready to work for you. every day we're working to and to keep our commitments. and we've made a big commitment to america. bp supports nearly 250,000 jobs here. through all of our energy operations, we invest more in the u.s. than any other place in the world. in fact, we've invested over $55 billion here in the last five years - making bp america's largest energy investor.
our commitment has never been stronger. still came as a shock this week with when the city of detroit filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy in history air, record $19 billion. once a city of 2 million people, detroit's population has plummeted to 700,000. it takes an hour for police to respond to calls. almost half of the city's schools have closed in the last three years. some consider detroit an urban disaster area. joining us this morning in the studio here to talk about the problems, michigan governor rick snyder. thank you for coming. let me start with the obvious. what does this mean for the people of dwrt? are the police and firemen still going to get paid? will some of them be laid off?
what happens now? >> yeah, bob, this is a very tragic situation, and this was a very difficult situation but it's the right one. and we looked through every other viable option. we worked in good faith through many other courses of action, and this has been 60 years in the making as you said, going back to the 2 million people detroit once had. ultimately, if you step back and say, this is an opportunity to stabilize detroit and grow detroit because you have to get back to the fundamentals of the-- the most important thing is not just the debt question. the debt question needs to be addressed -- $18 billion in liabilities. but even more important is the accountability to the citizens of detroit. they're not getting the services they deserve and they haven't for a very long time. this can has been getting kicked down the road for decades. enough is enough and now is the time to turn it around. >> what about it? will your police force stay at the same level? will you have to lay off meade? >> no, what happens with bankruptcy we continue normal operations but i'll tell you, normal operations are not good enough. people will still get paid.
people are coming to work. people will get what i would describe regular service. i wouldn't call it normal service. the good part is we have a number of steps in place to improve things in detroit because we need to do that. again, they deserve a better answer, the wonderful people of detroit. because if you look at it, one thing that's already happened, there's a new police chief coming, there are new police investigation. there are opportunities to look at these issues because in some cases, 58 minutes for a response time is absolutely unacceptable >> and what about the 20-- what do you have 20,000 people who are retired on city retirements? will they-- is their retirement, is their pension in jeopardy? can they expect it to be cut? what happens to them? >> that's one of the other tragic situation of this that your heart has to go out to anyone-- the retirees who worked hard for the city are on a fixed income and there's a challenge there. the bankruptcy process allows useusto do it in a more thoughtl way where they have a seat at
the table. talking to creditors, nobody wanted to represent the retirees. in the bankruptcy petition we've put in, we asked the judge to put together a group of retirees, someone to represent the retirees so they can have a voice at the table. we said short term through the end of the year there won't anybody change. beyond that, the real question also is to the degree the pension plabz are funded, they're not part of this process. it's the unfunded piece, and there's a terrible history there of mismanagement, of poor investment, of other things that should get aired out publicly and should be part of this discussion. >> let me ask you this-- mayor david bing said this morning on abc no decision has yet been made on asking for a federal bailout. do you think there is a federal bailout in translate's future? >> no, and i don't expect one. i said before the state cannot bail out the city of detroit and mart of the context i would say
that to you in is it's not just about put manager money in the situation. it's about better services to citizens, again, it's about accountable government. what we're doing at the state level-- and i would ask the federal government the same thing-- let's come up with targeted program where's we can see there's real value for citizens for improvement. we are part nerg with the city government, state, and federal government about taking down blietd structures. we were able o tob tain $100 million that hopefully in the next 30 days we will start taking some of those 73,000 abandoned structures down. they have been going on for years. >> the federal government bailed out general motors. it bailed out chrysler. that worked out pretty well. are you saying that is just simply not on the table as far as you're concerned? >> if the federal government wants to do that. that's their option. the way i view it, i want to partner with all levels of government and stay focused on services for citizens. >> but you as the state official, you would not ask the federal government to do that? >> again, i don't view that as
the right answer. the right answer is bankruptcy is there to help deal with the debt question. the more important question is better services for the citizens, police, fire-- think about the poor chierbled the young girl walking to school in october going by blietd structures wondering if it's safe. that's the situation we have to focus on and those can be very focused, targeted things that we can measure results and make sure we're doing a better job. >> what about bond holders. what about the people who own municipal bonds, once considered the safest investment one could make? are their bonds in danger here? >> that's going to be part of this process. and realistically, if you step back, if you were lending to the city of detroit in the last few years, didn't you understand there are major issues and problems and look at the yields they're obtang compared to other bonds. they were getting a premium. they say tough situation where you need to walk through it. but basically detroit hasn't had a positive fund balance since 2004 in its general fund-- 2004. this isn't a recent occurrence.
this has been going on. and that's my point, enough is enough. one thing i want to emphasize is there are great things going on in detroit. young people coming, businesses coming, let's get this resolved. let's grow detroit. >> governor you have a hard job ahead of you and i know all of us wish you the best of luck with this. thank you so much for take time to join us. eelbe back in a minute with personal thoughts about helen thomas. stay with us. "i'm part of an american success story," "that starts with one of the world's most advanced distribution systems," "and one of the most efficient trucking networks," "with safe, experienced drivers." "we work directly with manufacturers," "eliminating costly markups," "and buy directly from local farmers in every region of the country." "when you see our low prices, remember the wheels turning behind the scenes, delivering for millions
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she started every day at the white house asking the same questions-- "where is the president? what is he doing? who is he talking to? and why can't i be in the room with them? which is exactly what wire service reporters are supposed to do. she hadeate respect for the presidency and the institutions of government, no patience with the self-important and the pompous. they all looked alike to her. during gerald ford's presidency, those of us who covered the white house were herded into the press room for a briefing from national security adviser henry kissinger one day. the press secretary told us kissinger was so busy he could only speak for 20 minutes and not a second more, just too busy. kissing took the podium and said, "being a college professor, my lectures are timed to 40 minutes. i don't know if i could do it in 20 minutes." without missing a beat, helen shot back, "just start at the
end." even the old professor got a laugh out of that. helen was 92. back in a minute. every day we're working to be an even better company - and to keep our commitments. and we've made a big commitment to america. bp supports nearly 250,000 jobs here. through all of our energy operations, we invest more in the u.s. than any other place in the world. in fact, we've invested over $55 billion here in the last five years - making bp america's largest energy investor.
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nation" page two. susan page from "usa today" is with us. gerald seib of the "wall street journal." and the new bureau chief for "time" magazine, michael scherer. he's also the author of this week's cover story on trayvon martin. on my left here, gwen ifill of the pbs "newshour." and noderator of "washington week." columnist david ignatius of the "washington post." and our cbs news political director john dickerson. susan, i just want to start with john boehner and what he talked to me about. we are seeing a very different kind of speaker, are we not? this is not tip o'neil who had an agenda. this is not jim wright. this is not even denis hastert. this is not bob dole when he was the leader of the senate republicans. he seems to see his job more as
sort of a lawyer that's been hired by the majority to sort of represent them and then carry out their wishes. >> he kind of described the job as he was a concierge for the republican house caucus. and, you know, the thing that that says to me is that the immigration bill, not going to become law this year because to do big, hard things that divide the country, like the civil rights legislation in the 1960s, it required congressional leaders who were willing to take big steps to push their caucus around sometimes, to get things through. it does not sound like that's going to happen on immigration. >> i tend to agree with you, because boehner has made a rule that he'll not put anything on the house floor unless a majority of house republicans agree with it. and i do not believe there's a majority of among house republicans right now for a bill that includes a path to citizenship for the 11 million people who are here illegally. >> i think you're exactly right. and the problem with that is senate democrats have made it clear they will not pass an immigration bill that does not include a pathway to
citizenship. who blinks? it will be senate democrats, or house republicans? i'm inclined to think neither one will. >> i think nothing. john, does speaker boehner really have a choice here? >> well, it doesn't. i think that's what he basically says. he's got to take this kind of theater usher role, trying to get everybody to the exits in the same way because he has no other choice. we're on plan c here on the immigration. the elections didn't change things. there are some republicans who say we have to court latino voters. success in the senate didn't change the minds of a lot of members in the house. john boehner is trying to deal with these members of his caucus who are very suspicious of the process. he kept saying, i want to be remembered as the person who facilitate process." imagine that on a statute-- "he facilitated a process." that's best he can do, let them come to yess on their own time, find a way to get recalcitrant members to get to this immigration on their own. he has an agenda. he wants them to get there but
the only way he's going to do it with so much mistrust is if he can kind of gently guide them. it's a tough thing to do. >> i really think john boehner in many ways eye have considerable sympathy for him. i think he's an old-style legislator. i think he's thrieks legislator. i think he's not afraid to compromise, but it's like when i used to be a kid hanging around rodeos. they had what they called roman-style riders. and they would be guys with two horses, and put one foot on one horse and another on the other and ride around the arena. the two horses he's trying to ride here, one goes this way and one goes that way. >> when he says he distribute want to say what his opinion is is because some of his members distrust him. it's very stlar to what the president says, if i back something that will ruin it because the republicans will be against it. both the president and john boehner have faced with a problem. washington has changed. they both have powers bought they're limited. are they going to be remembered by the limits on their powers or by the creative ways they got
around the limitations of their day? both men face the same things. >> one of the unexpected events of the week was on friday when president obama went to the press room in the white house and said he decide he wanted to make a few comment on the trayvon martin case. here's just a little bit of what he said. >> when trayvon martin was first shot, i said that this could have been my son. another way of saying that is trayvon martin could have been me 35 years ago. there are very few african american men in this country who haven't had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. that includes me. there are very few african american men who haven't had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. that happens to me, at least before i was a senator.
>> gwen ifill, that is one of the most personal statements i've ever heard any president make. i thought it was interesting. i mean, this is kind of a journey that the president has come on here. he ran for president not as a black man trying to represent the rights of black people. he ran as an american who happened to be black. and he went to great trouble to put emphasis on that. this was a different side of president obama. >> i was just thinking of your rodeo analogy. the president-- i spent a considerable amount of time talking about the wake of that talk in the briefing room, talking with people about the white house and how this came about. and the president became convinces there were two different conversations going on, two horses going in opposite directions. one was the legal system and what was legal about what happened to trayvon martin and georggeorge zimmerman's culpabi. the other was this cultural conversation. and that to a person, every black man i know can tell the
story the president told, which is surprising to almost every white person i know that this is a routine way of living. and what the president-- this started with the verdict. actually, this started with the night trayvon martin was killed when i was told the president was insulted that his parents weren't notified right away and he felt this would have never happened to a white teenager to lie in a morgue for two days, or however long it was, before his parents were told where he was. and then it continued through the verdict. not that he questioned the verdict but the reaction to the verdict and what he waw yesterday in all these marches around the country, these hundred marches, was anguish and it was an anguish many white americans didn't understand. you remember the 2008 speech on race and he had to explain to white voteres yes he was not threatening, why he was not jeremiah wright and had a white mother and smooth things over. yesterday he was speaking to african americans saying i get what you get, and he was speaking to white americans trying to explain.
it was a new role for him and a role he decided to take. he was the one who rewrote the draft of the first statement they put out. he wanted to talk about this when he was interviewed by four latino journalists, and nobody asked him the question. he was prepared and nobody-- they were shocked. so they thought how do we do this? they came back and said i know, we'll talk off the cuff. we won't make it a formal speech, and. >> michael scherer, you wrote the cover story on trayvon martin and "time" decided at the last minute to make it the cover story. why did they do that? >> because of the social aspect. after the verdict it became clear it wasn't about the legal system and the jury verdict. it was about the two reactions americans were having to this. you took polls during the trial, and you found that bracks were watching it at twice the rate of whites, that whites still were asking questions about what had happened in the struggle. we still don't know the answer to that. whereas blacks saw this clearly
as a story not just about profiling but also about their place in america after the obama presidency. >> were you somewhat surprised that some people seemed to take some umbrage to, this almost suggesting the president was a racist for bringing this up? i didn't kind of see it that way. i saw it as someone who said, look, i would like for everybody to just stop and think about this a little bit and think about what it's like. >> i think that is one of the most interesting story lines here is about obama. he got into politics because he wanted to address these issues. he was actually very effect 95 2008 addressing these issues in the campaign and since he's been president he hasn't been because every time he speaks he becomes more divisive, he tend to midthe conversation. when i talked to him after the election in 2012, he said that one of the things he had written down on his yellow note pad of what he wanted to do in the second term was criminal justice reform which was surprising because he hasn't talked about it during the campaign but he still thinks very much about
thyself issues. he's aware of his limits in publish pushing the national conversation forward. he came out friday saying enough is enough that his advisers were warning him of the downside. >> do you think we'll hear more about this? >> i think we'll hear more about this. when you talk about the criminal justice reform he is in lockstep with the attorney general, who also came out and spoke to two large black audiences, in orlando, florida, and they believe this is the beginning because the bottom line for them-- i had a fairly senior white house official say to me they are convinced if trayvon martin were white he would be alive today. >> you know the part that gives me pause and that is the idea of a six-person jury. how many timeses have we heard over the years a jury hung 10-2. or 10-1, or 11-1. you know, somehow or another, six people-- and i mean to cast no aspertions on the six people. these were six people and this is the waylet jury system works
in this country-- but itn a funny kind of way it seems to me it's very easy to manipulate six people when it's much harder than 12. >> the president didn't bring that up. one interesting thing about his remarks -- which i thought were the most amazing few minutes of his presidency they can remember. >> really? >> yes, because it was so raw and personal and, yet, also, i thought presidential. he said this isn't the fault of our jury system. reasonable doubt in these criminal cases is appropriate. he said specifically don't expect african americans who are upset about this, don't expect a federal response, it's not likely. he said specifically don't look to me to lead a national conversation on race. those never work. i thought it was an honest speech on many different levels. and i thought it wast showed a kind of leadership that so often with this reticent president i felt was missing. >> it is remarkable to think you could have a president of the
united states stand up and say, "i remember a time when i walked down the street and people's car doors locked because they were afraid of me." i think the-- >> not long ago. not long ago. >> not 10 years ago. six or seven years ago. i think he thought really hard about how he could do something that literal he he was on the only person on earth could do which was to speak to the country as the president but about what it's like to be a black man in this country. and i think he decided that he could do this without either second guessing the judicial system on the one hand or stoking racial tensions on the other. that's a hard thing to do. >>un, we talk about the limits of a second-term president, and we see that when we talk about the issue of immigration, the greater difficulty he has getting political clout for that. this is the advantage of a second-term president. i think he feels freerer to talk about oorves race that he was reticent to talk about when facing reelection. i think gwen is right. the first line of his biography is going to say, "he was the
first african american elected president." that's part of his legacy. i think we're going to see him dealing more with this, with the freedom that comes with want second term. >> in talking somebody close to the president we went all the way back to his candidacy, and it was base oltd hope that america was ready for an african american president and that five years later he's basically on friday was placing the same bet that he was trying to make a nuanced pitch, trying to slide it in there very complicated. but he was basically making the same bet-- is the country still ready for me to make this kind of a statement in you know, it's not just that he's the president. he also spoke as a law professor. he also spoke as somebody who said trayvon could have been his son and it could have been me. as jerry said, he's the only one who could have done this. and it was faith in the audience, and i don't know if that audience is still there. >> i do think he's going to do it sparingly. i think he believes this is a currency that he could squander if he uses it too much. he doesn't want to be the african american president. he wants to be the president who is african american. i don't think he wants -- i
think he wants to pick the right spots and pick them sparingly to make this kind of statement. >> there's another piece, and that's what the black audience was seeing in what he was saying. there was a-- there was a lot of speculation the day of the talk that he was giving in to pressure from civil rights leaders and others who were demanding that he speaker when in fact when they were asked what the president should do they said to the white house, he doesn't have to say anything. eric holder spoke. that's nine. they were giving him a pass. but he said he didn't want this pass. part was, yeah, speaking to white people, white voters, america at large but speaking specifically to african american who were getting exhausted -- remember the woman who said she was exawforted by defending the president. there was a lot of exhaustion, especially the emotion of young people behind this verdict and i think he felt he had to speak specifically and say not only white effects to understand the pain that black folks are feeling but to black information themselves that i get you.
>> what happens now, michael? the most interesting question for me is how does the black community respond in we a country who can elect a black president. we're not a post-racial society and the black community over the last five years has actually gone backwards in a lot of ways, was hurt harder by the recession than other groups, still has enormous unemployment rates, still has issues of racial profiling, enormous frustration. and there are two stories being told. you have a black community that actually out-performed whites in the 2012 elections in terms of turnout, and yet continues to be incredibly frustrated that they're not being represented. i think this is going to be one of these crucial moments when we look back to see is this community as a political community able to move beyond in terms of organization the goal of having african american leaders because they have that now to actually moving the ball towards improving the situation they're in? and i think there's a lot-- you talk to pastors in the black churches, there's a lot of enthusiasm right now for really seizing this moment to do that and i think that will be the next story.
they would not go along with that. we know the president has said he would veto any bill that did that. is health care in doubt right now, this plan going into effect? >> well, legislatively republicans will not be able to kill the affordable care act. but, you know, republicans, especially republican governors, can make it impossible for it to succeed, especially in some states. more than half of the states are refusing to set up the state exchanges. that are supposed to open october 1. that makes it harder for those to work and almost half the states are refusing to participate in the expansion of medicaid, which is one of the biggest provisions to cover people who do not have health insurance now. i think the chances -- i think the affordable care act is in some peril in terms of working the way it was supposed to work. and americans feeling like it's worked. >> you asked john boehner what is the president's agenda and he said, "i don't know what the president's agenda is." let president, the white house told me, starts out almost every meeting, "where are we on health care?" he's making sure this gets implemented and put in place.
if you want a single illustration of the difference betweens john boehner and the president, here you have the president foxed on getting it implemented, john boehner saying he's focused on tearing apart something that passed three years ago, we know it's about elections coming up, his base really wants this done, but for a party thrieg two think about the future, is undoing a law from three years ago really the best argument you want to make when you're trying to make a new case for the public about the plan for the future of republicans. >> the plan is playing out in the states. they can try, what, 40 times to repeal it? but in the ends, states not taking found money for this medication expansion is kind of remarkable, and whether in the next round of elections, we see if that sustains, is going to be a key to whether this health care plan can be reasonably implemented, even with delays, even with other plans along the way. >> we've got to take little bit about foreign policy here. david ignatius, john kerr setrying to get the middle east peace talks going again. we still have the syrian civil war out there. what's the news?
>> secretary of state kerry had almost become a subject of kind of muttering gossip. he's taken six trips to the middle east in the his first six months as secretary of state, and a lot of people thought that he was just going nowhere. on friday, he announced that he is on the verge of having talks between israel and the palestinians about a final status agreement. they're going to be the last round of talks about talks, but they'll happen this week here in washington, the negotiators will come together. kerr, you'd have to say, has stuck with there. he's been living this issue every day as secretary of state-- sadly, to the exclusion of others -- but really for much of his career, and so he's believed that face-to-face diplomacy, keeping it all in his head, not sharing it with anybody. to this day we don't know many details about what he is doing. that was the way to go. at least on friday, there was some sign he might be right. >> let me ask ger besyria, we have to get to that. >> it's still there.
it's not get anything better. i think the effect of the american decision to start arming the rebels hasn't really been seen yet. that's only starting. it's going to happen slowly. i think syria has sort of descended into kind of a stalemate and that's not a good thing for anybody. it's better than some of the alternates which is a total eruption of the place into a kind of failed state. but i think the last compt in the syria disr has not even dwan to be written much less told yet. >> ficould say, bob, i think the biggest danger on the ground is syria is dissolving as a country. it is heading toward a defactor partition, much the way lebanon was during its long civil war. all the people who are on the ground tell me that. and it's going to be a fractured country where al qaeda has put down deep roots. americans don't realize, al qaeda really controls the northeastern part of syria now. that's dangerous. the obama administration has-- you'd have to say-- a
half-hearted program. they finally broke a logjam in the senate intelligence committee last week, but even administration officials know it's not going to at this point balance. >> i have to ask you, last week on this broadcast, benjamin netanyahu said the united states has to take more seriously and act with more urgency on this question of iran developing a nuclear weapon. >> i think the netanyahu fear here is while he's happy to be engaged in diplomacy with the palestinianians and happy to hae the u.s. engaged in sorgt out syria, the big thing in israel is these become diversions to what's happening with the iranian nuclear program. i think there's a great deal of fear right now that that's slipping away, the electionave new president in iran is going to opponent door to diplomacy. i think the real fear in israel is all these things combined have had the perverse effectef pushing the top issue down the
list furn you need to be. >> i would just close with this thought because we're out of time. does anybody remember when it used to be summertime in washington and nothing ever happened? people went on vacation. we are overloaded with news. >> i'm up for that, again. >> i'm kind of ready for that, too. i want to thank you for being with us this morning, very interesting discussion. i'll be back with this week's "face the nation" flashback in just a minute. ,,,,,,,,
she has a successful surgery and because her health provider has an amazing connected system, she has her life. i don't know what you have but i have kaiser permanente. kaiser permanente. thrive. gridlock, it's easy to forget there was a time when america thought big and did big things. 44 years ago yesterday an american became the first man to walk on the moon, fulfill a promise that president kennedy had made eight years before. that is our "face the nation" flashed back. >> we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard. >> it was nine 61, america had fallen behind the russians in the space race, and the president issued a call to action-- get to the moon and do
it fast. the apollo space program became a national priority. in 1968, apollo eight successfully oesh ted the moon. but it was the crew of apollo 11-- neil armstrong, buzz aldrin, and michael collins-- who finally met kennedy's challenge in june of 1969. >> what a moment. man on the way to the moon. >> the mission was smooth sielg from the start, and after a four-day, 250-,000 mile journey, they landed lunar module eagle in the moon sea of tranquility. >> picking up some dust. >> walter cronkite, cbs news aren't space buff. >> boy. >> was rendered temporarily speechless, but the moment we all remember came later that evening. >> boy, look at those pictures. wow. armstrong is on the moon, neil
armstrong. 38-year-old american. standing on the surface of the moon. >> it's one small step for man. one giant leap for mankind. >> after nearly 22 howard on the moon's surface, armstrong and aldrin packed up and headed home. they arrived, safely, of course, but their hero's welcome came through plated glass. >> gee, you look great. do you feel as good as you look? >> we feel just perfect, mr. president. >> a reminder of what this country was once cable oaf reaching for the moon and getting there.y our "face the nation" flash back. e a commitment to america. through all of our energy operations, we invest more in the u.s. than any other place in the world. in fact, we've invested over $55 billion here . 's largest energy investor.
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